Think through these sayings: “Cherish your friends and family as if your life depended on it, because it does,” or “Life isn’t fair, but government absolutely must be,” and “I get a lot of cracks about my hair, mostly from men who don’t have any.”
These are several adages by the late governor, 1933–2006, spotlighted in an inspiring new art book titled, “The One Ann Only: Wit and Wisdom by Texas Governor Ann Richards.”
Distributed by the University of Texas Press and vividly designed by Pentagram, the book can be purchased at The Owl, 106 N. Main St. in Elgin, during a free discussion and book signing Sunday, Nov. 13 from 3 to 5 p.m.
The 8-by-6-inch book, which comes with a satin ribbon marker, features 33 memorable Richardsone-liners and 75 images of her throughout her life by 33 noted photographers.
Packed with a Texas-sized serving of inspiration, the colorful hardback is an essential primer on the life and times of the governor. It includes snippets of Richards’ life experiences and a thorough timeline of her accomplishments, beginning with her fight to transform state government to match the diversity of Texas.
It also features a humorous and insightful foreword by award-winning author Sarah Bird: “What was it about Ann Richards? What was the essence of her One Ann Only–ness? Was it the way she lit up the screen with those eyes as blue and blistering as the flame of an acetylene torch? Was it that unmistakable tornado of white hair? Could it have been the irresistible genuineness of her throaty Texas drawl? Was it that Ann—not just an ardent and unapologetic feminist but an outspoken advocate for choice—managed to appeal as strongly to men as she did to all us women who had long hungered for exactly her brand of high-octane estrogen?”
The book also features an afterword by political historian Mary Beth Rogers, who twice served as Richards’ campaign manager. Bird and Rogers reflect on the governor’s magnetic character and numerous achievements, 31 years after her inauguration.
The One Ann Only is a collaborative effort by Austin philanthropists and former journalists Lynne Dobson and Greg Wooldridge, and Margaret Justus, a former journalist, former deputy press secretary to Richards and founder of the Ann Richards Legacy Project.
This uplifitng book was inspired by the Ann Banners, a 2021 project that displayed the words and images of the former governor along the central boulevards of five major Texas cities in honor of the 30th anniversary of her inauguration.